Subpolar North Atlantic western boundary density anomalies and the Meridional Overturning Circulation.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which have the potential to drive societally-important climate impacts, have traditionally been linked to the strength of deep water formation in the subpolar North Atlantic. Yet there is neither clear observational evidence nor agreement among models about how changes in deep water formation influence overturning. Here, we use data from a trans-basin mooring array (OSNAP-Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program) to show that winter convection during 2014-2018 in the interior basin had minimal impact on density changes in the deep western boundary currents in the subpolar basins. Contrary to previous modeling studies, we find no discernable relationship between western boundary changes and subpolar overturning variability over the observational time scales. Our results require a reconsideration of the notion of deep western boundary changes representing overturning characteristics, with implications for constraining the source of overturning variability within and downstream of the subpolar region.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, F; Lozier, MS; Bacon, S; Bower, AS; Cunningham, SA; de Jong, MF; deYoung, B; Fraser, N; Fried, N; Han, G; Holliday, NP; Holte, J; Houpert, L; Inall, ME; Johns, WE; Jones, S; Johnson, C; Karstensen, J; Le Bras, IA; Lherminier, P; Lin, X; Mercier, H; Oltmanns, M; Pacini, A; Petit, T; Pickart, RS; Rayner, D; Straneo, F; Thierry, V; Visbeck, M; Yashayaev, I; Zhou, C

Published Date

  • May 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 3002 -

PubMed ID

  • 34031423

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8144605

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2041-1723

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2041-1723

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41467-021-23350-2


  • eng